On Friday, the Washington Post published a hot-mic conversation recorded in 2005 during which Donald Trump and Billy Bush discussed the joys of sexual assault. Among other things, Trump bragged about how he could grab random women “by the pussy” simply because he was famous.
Over the past three days, folks on both sides of the aisle have criticized Trump, including the man’s own running mate, Mike Pence. They’ve issued statements that begin with phrases like, “As the father of two young daughters…”, or “As a woman…”, as though Trump’s comments only affected people with two X chromosomes.
But make no mistake: Trump’s comments about women are indicative of an old-boy mindset that has helped oppress the LGBT community for…well, nearly all of recorded history.
Last night during the second debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump tried to dismiss his banter with Billy Bush as “locker room talk”. The appalling thing is: he’s right. It was locker room talk. It was talk between presumably straight men who think no one else is around. Any of us who’ve ever been in an all-male locker room or overheard that kind of conversation have listened to similar comments–and possibly worse.
We all know the hallmarks of that kind of hyper-masculine bro-chat. Not only do women become objects for possession, but gay men become objects of ridicule and verbal violence. Misogyny and homophobia go hand-in-hand, like internet banter and mentions of Hitler. Frankly, I’m a little surprised I didn’t hear Trump using words like “fag” or “queer”, but maybe they ran out of tape.
Bottom line: though Trump’s comments were directed at women, they were in keeping with the misogynist, racist, xenophobic bile he’s spewed throughout his campaign. He likes to say that he’s a friend of women and gays and African Americans, but comments like these–comments made in private, when he’s not trying to sway an electorate–show the real Donald Trump.
And like Pence, he’s no friend of ours.